Week 1 DQ 1
What is total quality management (TQM)? Is it something you can install, like a refrigerator? How do you know TQM when you see it?
Week 1 DQ 2
When we talk about a system view, what are we interested in and why? Why is a system view so important to have if you are going to implement TQM?
Week 2 DQ 1
Are Dr. Deming’s 14 Points clear, concise, and achievable? If not, what do you think he had in mind? In Deming’s view, who needs to do what and why?
Week 2 DQ 2
The authors of our text talk about the Baldrige Award throughout their book. In previous versions, they even designed their text around this award. Given that our course is about TQM, an in-depth discussion of the Deming Award would seem to be appropriate. Why do I say this? If you look at the textbook, you see that the authors state that “the Deming Prize establishes a framework for a CWQC [Company Wide Quality Control] system” (p. 122). CWQC embodies what we would call TQM here in the U.S.
So let’s do some research. Put on your investigative hats and see what you can find about the Deming Award. You can use the Internet or or any other sources you have available.
How do you see the Deming Prize criteria fitting into TQM? How does the Deming Prize compare to the Baldrige Award? What are the differences and similarities between the Deming Prize and the Baldrige Award?
Week 3 DQ 1
How do leaders behave when they are implementing TQM? What expectations should they set? What kind of leaders do TQM leaders need to be?
Week 3 DQ 2
What are the dimensions of service quality? How do these dimensions affect a customer perception? How do the quality dimensions, as defined by David Garvin, relate to the dimensions of service quality?
Week 4 DQ 1
Teams are something we talk about a lot when it comes to TQM. Why are teams instrumental to TQM, or are they? What kinds of teams exist in a TQM operation?
Week 4 DQ 2
Just what is employee involvement? Is it always good? What key elements are necessary to keep it going? Are there different kinds of involvement?
Week 5 DQ 1
Even in technical documents a picture can equal a thousand words.
You can create illustrations, such as graphs, charts, diagrams, schematics, and images using a variety of software applications, such as Microsoft Visio, PowerPoint or Excel, and Adobe PhotoShop or Illustrator. For this discussion
- using your text (Chapter 13) and documents that you have reviewed or used previously, what suggestions do you have for writers in regard to illustrations; and
- what types of illustrations or graphics are you planning to use for your Course Project? How do you think they will benefit your readers’ understanding?
Week 5 DQ 2
Let’s carefully examine the theory and practice of successfully drafting a lengthy document, such as a formal report or proposal.
For this discussion, begin by reviewing the section in Chapter 2: Writing Initial Drafts (page 51). I also recommend exploring the Interactive Parallelism tutorial in the refresher port at THE|HUB.
Based on the reading, the tutorial, and your experience, what are the best next steps after completing a comprehensive outline for a document? How do you get started with a draft? How do you personally overcome the challenges of writer’s block?
Week 6 DQ 1
As we all know, the amount of information on the Internet is growing exponentially. Consequently, the need for creating or converting information into web-friendly formats is growing rapidly, as well. Technical communicators now often write content for websites, update a corporate blog or wiki, or manage a company’s social media presence on the Web.
For this discussion
- describe the major differences in writing content for the Web versus writing for print; and
- discuss the importance of web page design and interface. What elements do you feel make a website visually appealing or not?
Feel free to share a website you like or don’t like and explain your reasoning.
Week 6 DQ 2
We often think of writing as a solitary task. However, as our text states, collaboration with coworkers and with subject matter experts (SMEs) actually rank as two of the most important skills for technical writers in the workplace. So, let’s discuss some ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of collaborative writing. For this discussion
- explain the benefits derived from collaborating with others; and
- discuss some of the common pitfalls when working collaboratively. How might you overcome these challenges? Please share any personal experiences you have had with working in a group or on a team.
Week 7 DQ 1
Presentations in the workplace include everything from casual conversations in front of a few colleagues to making sales pitches to customers to giving speeches to large audiences. Further, as more and more organizations conduct business in multiple locations and globally, the use of webinars and other distance presentation tools is growing substantially.
You will be creating a narrated PowerPoint show to present your Course Project. For this discussion
- describe how you plan to organize your presentation for both your narration and your PowerPoint show. What information will you include? What will you leave out; and
- discuss what you think are the most critical speaker characteristics for either live presentations or for web-based presentations.
Week 7 DQ 2
In this exploration of the final two stages of the writing process, we examine the value and mechanics of revising and proofreading our documents. A review of Chapter 2: Revising Drafts (page 52–54) and Chapter 17 on style is a good place to begin. For this discussion
- contrast the differences between revising and proofreading. Which is harder for you?; and
- share the strategies you have learned in this class and in other classes that work well in both of these stages.